Could City be about to change their January transfer window plans?
The injuries are stacking up for Daniel Farke after the festive season – could City be tempted into revising their transfer plans, asks Mark Armstrong?
The festive period hasn’t been the kindest to Norwich City from an injury point of view.
Whilst the Canaries have demonstrated a spirit that could make or break a promotion season, there’s no getting away from the fact physios at Colney are being kept very busy after four games in the space of 10 days.
There has been a lovely balance to Farke’s squad this season, which has meant that whenever one player has been unavailable there has been someone to step in and take their opportunity.
However, fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that the latest duo to be afflicted by injury in Alex Tettey and Marco Stiepermann are only short term issues otherwise City may have to reconsider whether they can afford to adopt only a watching brief in January.
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The brutal nature of the festive fixture calendar has taken a toll on City – how much will determine whether Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke feel it needs supplementing this month.
It’s not easy either. There is a growing sense inside and outside the club that this really could be City’s season and that will inevitably impact upon which players the club are targeting.
Holstein Kiel winger Kingsley Schindler was linked with a move to Carrow Road last August and perhaps City could be tempted to take advantage of the fact this contract at the Bundesliga II side runs out this summer. But then again when City were interested in the 25-year-old it was very much with a Championship brief in mind. Could he form part of a Premier League squad, which City may be looking to put together in just over five months’ time?
City recruitment strategy has been imaginative – there will be a few Premier League bosses wondering why their scouting departments didn’t pick up on a player like Emi Buendia whilst Farke is developing a reputation for rehabilitating a player that has lost his way through injury or loss of form.
West Brom winger Oliver Burke would appear to be someone that could be primed for a bit of the Farke treatment to get his career back on track in the same way that the likes of Moritz Leitner and Tom Trybull have rediscovered their mojo. Whether the Baggies would be willing to part with a player to a promotion rival is unlikely though.
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City would of course be keen not to upset the dynamic they’ve established in the dressing room this season so bringing in a Premier League player, even on loan, is unlikely. City old boy Jacob Murphy can therefore be scratched off your list with Derby reportedly keen to offer him the game time (and salary) he’s missing out on at Newcastle.
The reality is that Norwich are likely to keep their powder dry in the hope that Buendia and Leitner can be back before the end of the month whilst Kenny McLean and Louis Thompson would be very welcome returnees this month.
More likely will be the strengthening of the Under-23s squad with Simon Power and Adam Phillips set to spend the rest of the season on loan at Dutch second tier side FC Dordrecht.
It all adds a bit of spice to the FA Cup third round tie at home to Portsmouth this weekend. A few of the shadow men are likely to be given an opportunity – how much they take it may just determine how busy City are this window.